Listing FRC on Resume

I am working on a resume and I want to include my 5 years of frc but I don’t exactly know where or how to put it in my resume. Does anyone have any examples or advice?

1 Like

I list it under a “volunteer experience”, or “other experience” section, separate from career and academic pursuits. Otherwise, listing it much like a job, with dates / locations and basic responsibilities.

13 Likes

Thank you, should I list lead programmer with that or under like leadership experience?

I have a slightly different resume setup, where I aim by projects as much as by anything else. The robotics (and college) projects are at the end, after the real-world work (at least the relevant positions, I’ve got a few at the end.)

2 Likes

It also depends on how much experience you have to fulfill your resume and how it relates to your work that you’re applying for.
Let’s say you’re a freshman in college (or a student still in high school) with little work experience and going for a job in leadership or management and you held a leadership position on your team… I would definitely bump it up to your experience section as it is directly related to the job you’re applying for!

As a side note, the single best thing you can do for yourself is have a master resume that you keep adding to over time - never remove anything. This is helpful so you can easily pull past experiences into your submitted resume relatively easily.

There’s some links at the bottom of this post from a professional on things to include: Do I put FIRST Projects on my Resume? | FIRST

6 Likes

I’ve been making this point to students I’ve spoken with at the HS and College level for over 25 years.

There is no single resume for all opportunities and you should always tune your submitted resume for the opportunity. Starting with a full-tilt resume and removing, or enhancing, or re-ordering, or whatever to build a focused resume for a specific opportunity is the way to do it.

At this stage of your career, all the things you did well, and in depth, and to completion, and that help differentiate your story, are great resume material - whether you got paid or not. At that stage, I don’t care about that.

11 Likes

This is what I have listed. I feel for most things having a long term volunteer item on your resume is a good look

Volunteer experience
FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) Mentor: Providing technical assistance to high school students fielding a robot for the FRC over a two month build season and subsequent competition; facing real world engineering, logistical, and management challenges. Involved since Jan. 2015.

7 Likes

A lot depends how long ago the experience was, what other relevant experience you have, and how relevant it is to the work you are looking for. If you were on a team in high school and applying for a job after completing college, the I would keep the mention pretty short unless the experience applies directly to the job. If you are applying to internships or coop jobs during college you should include what you accomplished to make it relevant.

1 Like

Here’s a good example I found on google, just spell it right ;): https://www.livecareer.com/resume-search/r/robotics-club-member-33785ad6a4a54f818d9e5d34f3711596

At just a glance (all your resumé may get) I noticed a minimum of three spelling errors (at least they didn’t also claim to be “detail oriented”) in this sample resumé. Odds are that’s an immediate flush. Put in the time and effort to make sure yours has perfect spelling and grammar – the importance of this really can’t be overstated.

3 Likes

When I was “green” out of college, I listed both my student experience and volunteer experience on my resume. Separately.

If I were to make a new one (haven’t had to, other than one made for Canadian Work Permit applications), I’d probably drop the student portion, but keep the volunteer portion.

When one is fresh, every bit of work experience (and educational/extra-curricular experience) counts. A diploma is in many cases merely a check mark. What you actually know is what matters if the resume makes it through/past the HR filters of doom. As one gains work experience, such moves to the front of one’s credentials.

The other thing that (from my experience) that counts and is easily overlooked is one’s character. This is why I’d keep the volunteer portion. Touches like that humanize the resume and make one stand out. Heck, my FRC experience (along with my HS metalworking and relevant hobby experience) reportedly is one of the reasons my current employer offered me a position. It also works the other way; an employer who sneers or looks down on such is likely not one that’s good to work for. Sure, it took 11 months out of college to get my first professional job (in my case, as a manufacturing and controls engineer). But, the one employer that did offer me has, IMHO, been a good one; I’ve been with them since then, over 7 years.

1 Like

I like all the advice I see so far. To pile on, a personal $0.02:

If you put FIRST on your resume, and come up to me at a career fair, I’ll ask you about it. Then I’ll tell you I mentor for a local team. And I’ll see what you do with that.

99% of people I do this to have a freakin awesome 5 minute conversation with me. 1% freak out and don’t know what to do.

TL;DR just make sure the word “FIRST” or “FRC” is on the resume somewhere. And be ready to talk about it. It’ll make a big impact on the right people, and some impact on everyone else.

FWIW FIRST is also on my resume. It currently looks like this:

Punchline: Describe both what you did, and what you learned from it. Making sure keywords for technologies are present is good for resume “SEO”.

Caveat: I’m old and allow myself a 2-page resume. There’s more detail and content here than I’d expect on a college person’s resume.

5 Likes

Here’s how I represent my FRC experience, primarily focusing on mentoring and volunteering, on my resume. For me this strikes a good balance, enough for someone in FIRST to notice but it doesn’t do much more than that.

I represented it this way because I have other engineering and leadership to talk about. Here’s how I included FIRST going into my freshman year of college:

2 Likes

As someone who has interviewed many college students and recent grads, my advise would be to emphasize the stuff you did outside of class (for a club or just for fun, etc), even if you can say something like “BS ME MIT 5.0/5.0”. I’m always far more interested in things you actually did, especially if you can speak about it with authentic passion. My most recent hire is a FRC alum.

A story relayed to me – an engineer for {prestigious engineering company} was at our job fair interviewing college sophomores and juniors in ME for summer internships and as a screen out he would point at a page where 1/4-20 1" was written and ask “what does this mean to you?”. A surprising number had no clue. I’d wager just about anyone who has helped design or manufacture an FRC robot could answer that in a heartbeat (I know our kids, even the 1st years) could.

This simple thing is taught in a required freshman engineering course. Every single one of the students had seen it, but (unlike in FRC) they hadn’t lived it.

`Memorize it, Regurgitate it, Get an “A”, Forget it.’ might be a model for a good GPA, but IMO it is decidedly not a good model for becoming a good Engineer. This is why I always care more about what you’ve done outside of class.

10 Likes

Pow - nailed it.

You never know who you might talk to about what but be ready to go deeper into every single thing on your resume.

You’re putting it out there to get a response, to get engagement, to build a connection - be ready for when you actually succeed

Be ready to go when the opportunity opens up - for anything on your resume.

When you provide your resume, you’re trying to open the door to more discussion, if you don’t want to discuss something or can’t go deeper, drop it in favor os something else that you are excited about.

Caveat: I’m even older than @gerthworm

8 Likes

This. I am a biologist, but heavily involved in FIRST and FRC. Many grad school interviews had people very interested in what FIRST entailed. My ability to talk about my technical skills and project-based timelines gave me a leg up, particularly in that I could show that it’s more than just resume padding.

1 Like

A bit of a different flavor from the others – here is how I list mine. I put a lot of time into it, and there are reasons people may be interested in it, so keep it on my resume. It is the second listed company/organization (other than the company I work for) under one very long section called “Experience”

Keeping in mind I’m typically applying for MBA roles with people who are unfamiliar with FIRST, so being results-oriented is very important. I’d write it differently if I was applying for technical roles.

6 Likes

:point_up: Not just with FIRST, but with all your experience and group projects, don’t just describe the project; describe your role. “I assisted the lead engineer” is useless - did you make first drafts, turn rough drafts into finals, coordinate the project management, elicit requirements, do market research, or fetch coffee? Bonus points if you briefly tell how one or two of your contributions made the project/company successful, E G: Designed and performed tests to ensure the widget met the mechanical and reliability requirements.

1 Like

This. If you are asked, saying “I worked with a team to do a bunch of stuff” packs much less weight than “I designed this, that, and the other parts of this widget, while working with my teammates who did the rest”.

I can say that I’ve seen at least one person not get an offer because they didn’t say that.

I can say that there are about a dozen people I (or more precisely, the interview panels I was on) didn’t invite to an interview in the past year because their resume didn’t include these details. I don’t know how many of those would have been invited if they’d been more specific; maybe a few of them really did fetch coffee. But I suspect many, maybe most, of that dozen would have been invited to an interview if they had been more specific.
It’s also scary how many times over the past decade doing interview panels that I’ve known what a candidate has done, but it wasn’t in their resume, and I couldn’t use it due to office policy, because it would be unfair to those whom I don’t know.